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Smartphone makers face dwindling demand


Expect festive season boost

Mobile phone sales are expected to remain flat for another two to three months, as smartphone makers, who have only recently overcome import hassles – face the prospect of fading pent-up demand for devices.

However, brands, retailers and industry watchers said they expect demand to revive only during the festive season, which in India typically begins in October.


They noted that companies are going all out to woo consumers with the launch of powerful new smartphones, but most are keeping away from discretionary spends, gauging the economic impact on their livelihoods amid the on-going COVID-19pandemic.

Major phone brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Realme, Apple, and Samsung, are, however, optimistic about demand, scaling up production to almost70-80 per cent of capacity to pre-build inventory.

“The supply side is slowly recovering now as lockdown restrictions have eased, but demand has been cold beginning this month,” said Arvinder Khurrana, President of the All India Mobile Retailers’ Association.
“Most of the pent-up demand has been satisfied in April-June and major sales can only be expected towards the festive season now.”

In fact, prices of Apple iPhones online are lower than what it posts offline, a retailer said.

According to a report by research firm, Canalys, smartphone shipments in the April-June quarter fell 48 per cent on-year, while Counterpoint Researchestimated it to have plunged 51 per cent.

“I feel the troubles are not yet over for smartphone brands because demand has diminished, and July will see softer sales compared to June,” said await Mardikar, research analyst at Canalys. “In my understanding, the supply side will also need another two weeks to normalise.”


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